Posts Tagged ‘person’

Remembering Peggy

March 18, 2012

Peggy Gye, née Welch, has featured many a time on these pages. As our museum founder and curator for more than twenty years, she was that vital spark that set things in motion and saw them through to fruition.

As we know from her obituary, Peggy did much more for Market Lavington than just found and run an excellent museum. As a lifelong Lavingtonian, she was devoted to her village and, it is fair to say, the village was devoted to her.

She was born into a fairly well to do family which means they afforded studio photographs and today we feature a real charmer – Peggy aged two and a half.

Peggy Welch, aged two and a half - a photo by Burgess Brothers of Market Lavington

The photo dates from 1923. We believe the photo was by Burgess Brothers. The balustrade that Peggy sits on looks identical to the one we have in the museum. This came from the Burgess studio.

Peggy appears to be wearing a knitted dress and wears very sensible shoes. She is cuddling a very cute soft toy.

And those Peggy Gye eyes, are clearly taking in the photographer as she learns all about what is going on.

It is now more than two years since Peggy left us. Her museum, of course, is still going strong.

Vic, Tom and Ted

March 16, 2012

White Street, Market Lavington with three village 'Likely lads' in 1925

This picture purports to show Vick Tucker, Tom Gye and Ted Drury. The date is probably 1926. Tom Gye is in the car he was given for Christmas in 1925 – hence it’s personalised registration.

The photo was taken on White Street in Market Lavington, just at the end of The Clays. The large tree at Beech House is hanging over the road in the background.

However, we have some doubts about the other people in the photo. Ted Drury (actually Thomas Edward Drury) was born in 1921. Both of the other lads look older than aged 4. Tom Gye was born in 1920 – the other lads look much older than him.

Vick Tucker has not been traced yet, but it would seem that our original caption may be wrong. We’d like to hear from anybody who can positively identify the lad with the bike and the lad with the bat. You can contact the curator by clicking here.


Cold Hands

December 27, 2011

This autobiography by Doctor Ashford Brown was mentioned in an earlier blog entry.

Our former local doctor explains in the book, that he always had cold hands – not ideal for a doctor.

The book is well written and makes a fine read.

Cold Hands includes tales from Dr Ashford Brown's time in Market Lavington and Easterton

The back cover has further information about Dr Ashford Brown, and the book.

The blurb about the book

A frontispiece, in the book, is a lovely sketch of the good doctor.

Dr Ashford Brown was a GP for Market Lavington and Easterton for 24 years.

If you can’t find a copy, then you can always come to the museum to read the book. It is open this afternoon.

Lily Oram – in her own words

November 23, 2011

Lily was a centenarian member of the Market Lavington Community when she  died, 20 years ago, at the nursing home in the village, still very close to her long term Northbrook home. Just a month before her death, the local paper had recorded and celebrated her 100th birthday.

1991 news cutting from the Wiltshire Gazette, celebrating the 100th birthday of Lily Oram of Market Lavington

As Lily says, she had been born in the Chittoe area  – the first child of James Bryant, a local market gardener and his wife.

Lily tells us she married at age 18 – to Bert Oram. This marriage took place at Chittoe Church.

The couple spent most of their married life living at Northbrook in Market Lavington. We think Bert died in 1962. Lily had a long widowhood of almost 30 years. She died a month after that 100th birthday.

Lily is remembered with great affection by many people in Market Lavington.

Tommy Burden’s Cottage

November 19, 2011

It is nearly a year since we last looked at the Tudor Cottage by the Northbrook. Then we featured a couple of pictures – one from the 1950s and one from the 1980s. You can click here to see that account of the sad end of this house.

Today we are looking at a photo from the late 1960s so that we can discover a little more about the house, the times and an occupant.

Tommy Burden's Cottage on Northbrook, Market Lavington

This is the road which, like the stream which passes under the bridge with the white railings, is called Northbrook. In the foreground there is a modern (for the time) Vauxhall car. The D registration was for 1966.

The cottage we are considering is at the left. It is set below a steep sandstone hill and was obviously out of sight as far as the TV transmitter was concerned for we can just make out a TV aerial on a tall mast.

Parked outside the house is a WCC lorry (Wiltshire County Council). This seems to have windows sacked over, so presumably it is a cold and frosty morning.

Tommy Burden, who lived in the cottage worked for the council so the lorry was presumably the one he was using. Tommy was born, probably in the same cottage, in about 1905. His father, William, was a road man – responsible for keeping roads in order.

We think Tommy married Joan Sylvester in 1943. The 1964 electoral roll shows Thomas and Joan together, on Northbrook.

We know Tommy died in 1978. We think Joan died in 1988.

We would love to hear more from anybody who recalls the Burdens of Northbrook, Market Lavington.

The Brown Family

November 3, 2011

Today we are looking at a photo of two young girls, said to have been taken in Market Lavington in 1911.

The photo, along with other information, was given to Market Lavington Museum by Mr John Clarkson of Winchester in 2005. It would be lovely if he could get in touch with us at the museum (click here) to help sort out our records.

This is the photo.

Winnie and Irene (Brown or Sheppard) – a photo at Market Lavington Museum

This is clearly a studio portrait of the two girls. The back of the photo is captioned:

‘Market Lavington 1911

Winnie (Sheppard) Irene (Sheppard)


Further information on our record card says:

‘Two girls, Winnie and Irene, part of the Brown family of Market Place, Market Lavington. The family moved to London in the early 1900s but these two came to stay with some of the family here.’

Census records show Browns and Sheppards living next to each other, in the Market Place in 1881.

But, at the moment we don’t see quite how these families fit together.

We would like to know more about this charming photo. Do, please, contact us if you can help.

A day out in Weymouth

September 25, 2011

The 1920s are well known as the era of the ‘bright young things’, the very wealthy youngsters who spent their lives partying and generally upsetting their parents with their wild antics. But for the majority of people, life was simple and basic with very few treats to brighten the year.

Maybe Market Lavington was lucky, for in that decade, Fred Sayer’s Lavington and Devizes Bus Company ran regular charabanc outings. And just occasionally, local people could enjoy a day at the seaside.

Of course, it was important to look smart and proper on these occasions. Adults kept themselves well covered. A gentleman wore his three piece suit whilst a lady wore a demure dress and a hat. Children were allowed rather more freedom.

Our picture today features George and Mabel Cooper and a couple of youngsters  on the beach at Weymouth. We see a family just like that depicted in the previous paragraph. The picture is dated 5th July 1925.

Mabel and George Cooper plus two youngsters. This Market Lavington family were photographed at Weymouth in 1925

George Cooper was born about 1887 in Market Lavington. His father was James, the coal merchant and farmer who lived on Church Street.

George married Mabel Brown, a Connock girl, in 1909 and by the time of the 1911 census the couple and their first born daughter were living on Church Street. George was a groom.

A number of children were born in the next few years but we are not sure that both girls in the photo are children of George and Mabel.

Jess Trotter

September 20, 2011

William and Jessie (senior) Trotter ran the Volunteer Arms. They had been ‘on the road’ since they married in 1901 in the Wandsworth district of London – judging by the 1911 census.

Jess Trotter was born in about 1905 in Lydd in Kent. Younger brother, Henry, born around 1908 saw the light of day in Pewsey and by 1911 they were in Market Lavington where William was a publican and a coal merchant.

In the early days of his business, Fred Sayer, the bus proprietor used the yard at The Volunteer Arms as his depot. Perhaps Fred’s son – also Fred, and young Jess Trotter knew each other from an early age.

We think our picture dates from about 1920.

Young Jess Trotter of the Volunteer Arms, Market Lavington in about 1920

Fred Sayer and Jess Trotter  married in 1929.

Old Jessie Trotter outlived her husband and was still at The Volunteer Arms in 1939.

We do not know where young Jess,  Mrs Fred Sayer, went to except that she ended up in Salisbury for her death was recorded in that district in 1992.

We’d love to know more about the Trotter family and also the Sayer family. Can you help us?

Far from the Madding Crowd

August 19, 2011

When John Schlesinger was making his 1967 film of the Thomas Hardy novel, he chose Devizes to be the backdrop for some of the scenes. Local people were used as extras in the film and amongst them was our very own Percy Wilkins of Market Lavington.

You can click here to read about Percy’s life.

Back in 1967, the local papers were keen to show the locals along with the stars and two newspaper images, which we have at Market Lavington Museum, feature Percy.

Percy Wilkins is on the right in this newspaper photo of actors in 'Far From the Madding Crowd'..

So here we see one of the leading men in the film, Alan Bates, who played Gabriel Oak and with him are three people who played carters – Mr S Fielding, Mr M Tanner and our own Percy Wilkins.

Another shot shows Percy, seemingly getting an autograph of an actress. Maybe somebody could enlighten us at the museum by telling us who she is.

An actress signs an autograph for Percy Wilkins. The photo can be found at Market Lavington Museum.

These pictures have been kept in scrapbooks of news cuttings made by the local WI starting in the mid 1950s. Do ask to see them if you visit the museum.

Uncle Walter James

August 12, 2011

One of the recipes in Lucretia Gye’s hand written note book is called Uncle Walter James’ Fruit Cake.

Recipe for Uncle Walter James Fruit Cake as written by Lucretia Gye. Her recipe book is at Market Lavington Museum

This is one of the items you may be able to try at the Museum Miscellany on Saturday 17th September in market Lavington Community Hall, but here we consider who Uncle Walter James was.

Walter James was born about 1880. His father was a carpenter. We can find the James family on the 1881 census living on Church Street and in 1891 on New Street (The Muddle). By this time young Walter was described as a garden boy.

In 1901 the family lived on Parsonage Lane and Walter was now called a baker.

Walter James married Elizabeth Gye in 1904 in the Marylebone district of London. Elizabeth was the sister of Lucretia’s husband, Joseph so in calling him ‘Uncle’ , Lucretia  was using the name used by her children – amongst them, Tom Gye.

In 1911 Walter and Elizabeth lived at 1, High Street in Market Lavington (now the Post Office) along with their young son who was also Walter.

The James family were still on High Street in 1926. Elizabeth died in 1927, but Walter continued his business and was still on High Street with his son in 1939.

Uncle Walter James died in 1943.

For a picture of Walter James click here.

His cake recipe lives on and you may be able to sample it on September 17th.